Cooking Tips for Busy People
When we are busy, eating healthy can be one of the things that goes right out the window. If your days are packed with activity, the last thing you probably want to do when you come home is start cooking; it is much easier to order a pizza or pop a frozen dinner laden with sodium and chemicals into the microwave; this is really not a problem when you are doing this once in a while, but when these types of foods become staples of your diet, you are truly putting your health at risk. If you have been using being too busy as an excuse for not cooking nutritious food on a regular basis, here are some tips to create healthy meals in the midst of your busy lifestyle.
Stock Up on Long-Lasting Ingredients
Having a robust stock of foods that can be turned into delicious meals is great for busy people who are probably loathe to go to the store to fill an empty pantry after a hard day at work ; it is much easier to get some Chinese take-out, right? By stocking up on some long-lasting staples, you will always be able to whip up a variety of quick, healthy meals; Buy different types of rice pasta, beans and legumes as well as a variety of sauces. Long-lasting vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and onions make great bases for casseroles and soups. Canned vegetable and beans are great too—just opt for low-sodium versions or rinse full-salt versions before cooking them. Other good purchases include dried foods like shitake mushrooms or sun-dried tomatoes, herbs and spices, nuts, salad dressings.
Having a plan is always a great way to save time and food preparation is no exception. Sit down and plan your meals ahead for the week or next three days or whatever time frame you choose; by figuring out everything you want to eat during this time, you can make one trip to the supermarket to stock up on everything you need; like the stocked pantry, having the ingredients all ready to go for the meals you want to eat will make it much more likely that you will cook them.
Make More Than You Need
If you want to cut down on your cooking time, making bigger portions and using the rest later is a good idea. if you are making spaghetti with homemade sauce, make enough sauce for a few more meals, so that the next time you want pasta, all you need to do is reheat your homemade creation rather than starting from scratch again. Double or triple recipes and you can put together a few nights of meals in one shot.
Do Some Prep Work Early in the Week
To save time during your busy week, get a head start on meal preparation during some of your downtime. In just a couple of hours, you may be able to get the bulk of your meal preparation out of the way, leaving you with minimal work to do later on. Chop up all the vegetables you will be using during the week; if you are preparing something like rice or potatoes, cook them now and just reheat when the time comes. Make the pasta sauce; prepare the casserole so that the only thing you need to do tomorrow is stick it in the oven. By setting a specific time that you will prep your meals for the week, you will be able to move into ‘’cooking mode’’ much more easily, allowing you to work quickly and more efficiently.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing tips on how people can make time for healthy home-cooked meals; if you are in need of some equipment for your kitchen, follow the link to check out Proctor Silex coffee makers and other great products.